In Windows 7, there’s a hidden administrator account that is used to perform system critical chances and run certain restricted programs. The administrator account has the ability to run programs with elevated privileges. That is, an administrator can make changes to system utilities and system settings without entering password or being given a User Access Control (UAC) prompt. Furthermore, some files, folders and locations will be restricted to standard users—instead of showing the contents of a file or folder, Windows will simply tell them: “Access is denied.”
This is an important security feature for Windows 7, as it prevents unauthorized programs from making malicious or potentially harmful changes to your Windows system. Essentially, it ensures that no significant changes are made to your operating system without your approval. Occasionally, however, you may want to bypass this security measure in order to tweak some settings that Standard Users do not usually have access to.
The standard way to do this is to right-click a program and choose “Run as Administrator.” This works for most programs, but for some operations, it still limits your accessibility slightly.
To get full administrator access to all of your system functions, you can enable the hidden administrator account in Windows 7 and actually log in as Administrator. In this way, all of your actions and all of the programs you run will be “as administrator.” Here’s how to enable this feature:
Click the Start button and type CMD.exe in the search box.
Right-click CMD.exe and choose “Run as administrator.”
At the command prompt, type:
Net user administrator /active
Now, when you log in to Windows 7, you’ll see an account called Administrator. You can click on this account and log in as an Administrator, just as you’d log in as a standard user.
However, you should note that this account does not have a password. This means that anyone who turns on your computer or accesses it via remote desktop will be able to gain administrator access to your PC. To prevent this, you can set a password on your administrator account.
To do this, launch CMD.exe as an administrator and type:
net user administrator YOURPASSWORDHERE
Replace YOURPASSWORDHERE with a password of your choosing. MAKE SURE YOU REMEMBER THIS PASSWORD. There is no password recovery feature or password hint if you forget this, and you NEED administrator access to perform vital functions on your computer.
To disable the Administrator user, go back into CMD.exe and type:
Net user administrator /active:no
Now, when you return to the log in screen, the Administrator user will no longer appear. Note that you have not deleted it, you have just hidden it from view. You can still run programs as an administrator by right-clicking them and choosing “Run as Administrator.”
If you are unsure of the benefits of enabling the Windows 7 administrator account, it’s not recommended that you follow any of these steps. The administrator account is intended for advanced users and if you do not know what you’re doing, you could cause irreparable damage to your Windows computer. Proceed with caution.